By Stanzin Namgyal Leh, Feb 10, 2014
Leh :
After much ado on behalf of the people of Ladakh, we were assured a brighter and better future when Ladakh was granted in the sixth schedule of the Indian constitution the status of Autonomous Hill Development Council. It symbolized our partial autonomy from the state of Jammu and Kashmir that could not address the issues of Ladakh pertaining the larger Kashmir valley issue since the Unification and partition of India.

It was a historic move that was believed to affect every aspect of our population in addressing the growth and progress of Ladakh as an indigenous community. Today after 9 years of enactment of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Act 2005, we the people are still struggling with basic issues of accountability and transparency in governance.I would like to share with my readers, certain facts that our dear council seems to think does not fall in the domain of public notice.  

It seems to me that once elected as the Council representatives by the people, our dear Council has forgotten the language of repeated pleadings by ALUYA and other associations on the issue of cancellation of the recruitment exams that was to be conducted on the 31st December 2013, in two centers of Jammu and Leh. So, keeping in mind this language that is ever alienating the government from its people, I would put the facts concerning this issue using the exact language as understood and executed by our council.

The order released was as follows:

OEDER NO: 265-AP OF 2013, NO: AP-67 (DRCF) 2013-14 (101),
DATED: 02-11-2013
Subject: Imposition of fee for conduct of examination,
Reference: Decision of Executive Council Meting of LAHDC, Leh held on 31-10-2013
Undersigned: Deputy Commissioner / C.E.O. LAHDC, Leh.


Sub section 2: The council shall also have power to impose any of the following taxes and fees, namely: Fees: (X) fees for temporary occupation of village sites, road and other similar pubic places or parts thereof in the district.


‘The LAHDC, Leh hereby imposes a fee at the rate of Rs.50.00 per from/post on account of "a fee for temporary occupation of Examination Hall" with immediate effect.’

From the above notification, it is very clear that the order released by the council for imposing of fees to the amount Rs. 50 / examinee was on the account of temporary occupation of examination hall and student and other examinees came from different parts of Ladakh to Leh beating the high mountain passes. Similarly students from different study centers across India came to Jammu, as it was the nearest center for taking this exam.

It is a straight display of how opaque and unaccountable our Council is. This is one instance where the people of Ladakh can easily witness the level of consideration that our Council have for its subjects. Forget about assuring a refund for the collection made for the exams, our dear Council is lacking the pure display of humility to even address its people on this issue. Is the council waiting till the issue passes away and public memory forgets the case of an Examination that never happened at all. After all it was just Rs. 50 collected from a toothless community of unemployed youth of Ladakh.

 Dear Council, though we are as ignorant as we are jobless and only a handful of our people understand the language in which such decisions impacting our lives are made, yet we can still read a few of those words and write a few of these lines. Though today we have no future to look forward to, yet being the people who elected you as our Council we feel it our responsibility to at least save whatever of our present is left.  It is very sad for me to mention here that before the enactment of the LAHDC Act 1995 we were being exploited by the state machinery and today after 9 years of its existence, LAHDC has taken up the role of exploiting its own very people.

The writer Stanzin Namgyal can be contacted at: